Gio Gonzalez (9-5, 3.86 ERA) and Jimmy Nelson (9-9, 3.61 ERA) start in the first of a three-game series between the Washington Nationals (60-60) and the Milwaukee Brewers (52-70) at Nationals Park. Action begins at 7:05 p.m. ET on Friday, Aug. 21 and can be seen on FSWI and MAS2.
Gonzalez pitched 2.2 innings in his last outing, surrendering six runs, striking out one and walking two in a 12-6 defeat to the Giants. Bryce Harper (.330, 84 Rs, 30 HRs, 73 RBIs, 5 SBs) continued his strong play yesterday, going 2 for 3. Nelson went 6.2 innings, surrendering two runs, striking out six and walking two in a 4-2 defeat to the Phillies in his most recent start. Ryan Braun (.276, 71 Rs, 22 HRs, 72 RBIs, 18 SBs) went 1 for 4 Wednesday with two runs, one home run, and one RBI.
Washington is a -163 favorite against Milwaukee and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at seven runs. The Nationals have an overall money line of -1,155 and a record as the favorite of 47-36. The Nationals have no trouble scoring as they rank fifth in the NL in offense with 4.2 runs per game. Washington's pitching staff has been doing poorly against opposing offenses during the last 10 games, allowing an average of 5.2 runs per game, well above its season average of 4.0. The Nationals are the top team in the NL at limiting walks to their opponents, allowing only 2.1 walks per game so far this season.
As for their opponent, Milwaukee is coming in with an overall money line of -1,834 and a disappointing record of 28-44 as the underdog. They played poorly as the underdog over their last 10 games with a 1-3 record, and a 5-5 record SU. The The Brewers allow just three runs per road game, ranking them fourth in the NL. When it comes to preventing batters from getting hits, the Brewers are fifth in the NL on the road with an average of 8.3 hits allowed per away game.
The Nationals have a 44-47 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Nelson takes the mound. Gonzalez (LHP) will be on the hill against the Brewers, who have a 14-14 record against left-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - Was, O/U - Over
In their last game, the Brewers won by a margin of one run. The Nationals are 18-14 in one-run games. The Brewers have a 14-13 record in close games.
Milwaukee has won 49% (28-29) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Washington has won 54% (29-25) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Brewers managed to give up five walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Nationals who are heading in with a 20-10 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they outhit their opponents, the Brewers are 37-9. The Nationals have a 47-6 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 20th in runs, Milwaukee has earned 479 this season. Washington ranks 15th with 500 runs.
Ranking 23rd, Milwaukee is near the bottom of the league in walks, notching 304 this season. Washington ranks in the top 10 at sixth with 378.
The Nationals are 43-29 in games where they hit one or more home runs. The Brewers are 39-25 when they hit at least one homer.